DIY CRM: part 2 for personal task management

This is continuation to DIY CRM: part 1 for a small team, where the MS Access was used as a simple tool to keep track of tasks or cases for a team.

The same tool can be used for a simple personal task management or time management. It is focussing on maintaining the list and priority of the ongoing tasks, and this can be both work and private related. For added security, it is possible to encrypt the file (menu option File->Info). The figure below shows the main concepts.


The screenshot below shows how 8 tasks could look like. Task 7 is opened, and in the details form one can select the details like Priority.


About Priority

The possible values of Priority are:

  • 1 Urgent, Important
  • 2 Important, less Urgent
  • 3 Urgent, less Important
  • 4 less Urgent, less Important

If needed then these values can be modified. There are several articles about time management. As a reference, the picture shown in Wikipedia is used.


“Task list report” (time management matrix)

The screenshot below shows the new report called “priority matrix” in the Task list or “Task list by prio to print” if looking the reports listed in the left menu. In addition to tasks, one could also list here the main personal goals so that they are always visible (see task 8 below).



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DIY CRM: part 1 for a small team

MS Access is included in the MS Office set of tools. I was playing around with it, and discovered that it comes with several build-in templates for different tasks. One of the interesting template is “Customer service” template, that was close to what I have been looking for. The figure below shows how the original template Customer Service looks like.


Even though the interface looks very technical, it is straight forward to use and one can stick into the main view “Case List”. Also it is possible to modify the file, and add additional data and reporting capabilities without any programming. The figure below shows the main concepts and what data fields was added in this DIY CRM.


The screenshot below is after the modifications.


I have created 2 new reports to cover those new data fields: “Open Cases 2″ and “Closed Cases 2″. And the 3 data fields “Company”, “Department” and “Functional Area” are included in the “Case Details” report. The list of values for “Priority” and “Category” can be changed. In this case, they are kept as in the original template. (I have also changed all the “dates” into “short form”; personal preference. You can easily modify this in the file.)


  • DIY CRM for small team
    • This zipped Access DB file comes with sample data. (You need to unzip before using it.)
  • link to Access 2016 runtime
    • If you don’t have Access then it is possible to try this out with runtime license. One can add new data, change existing data and delete the data.
    • About the sample data. One can delete lines with “Del” key. However, with runtime version it is not possible to see the all the tables, queries and reports, and therefore one cannot delete the existing “Call” data. Any modifications need to be done in a computer with the normal Access license.

About Part 2

In the part 2, the same access DB is further modified so that it could be used as personal task or time management tool.

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Recovering files from broken NAS (network attached storage)

After few years, even after little use, my Lacie 1000 Gb NAS went broken. When powering it up, the hard disk did not spin, but a smoke started to come up from the back side of the box close to the power cord. The power connector melted, but there were no other visual damage.

The only way to recover files was to take the hard drive out from the box and get it directly connected with a PC. Luckily I had an USB to SATA adapter, so the connection was easy. When connecting it into a windows 10 machine, it showed that the USB drivers were working fine, but there were no new hard drive available. The figure below shows the opened NAS box on the right, and the detached hard drive on the center. (The usb drive on the left is to make the backup into that one.)


After a little search, the reason became clear: this model has a ARMv5 compatible SoC (System on Chip) which can run linux and that the filesystem in the drive is most propably xfs (ie. not recognized by Windows OS) . In this device, the CPU is 88F6281, which seems suitable for these NAS devices.



And then after connecting the drive into xubuntu linux in VirtualBox, then files became accessable:-)


The other USB drive was also connected to the same xubuntu, after which it was possible to copy the files. The printout below shows the xfs for sdb2 (NAS disk) and ntfs for sdc1 (USB drive).

traveler@TravelBox:~$ sudo lsblk -o NAME,FSTYPE,SIZE,MOUNTPOINT,LABEL
NAME    FSTYPE     SIZE MOUNTPOINT                     LABEL
sda                  8G
+-sda1  ext4       6,5G /
+-sda2               1K
+-sda5  swap       1,5G
        swap       1,5G [SWAP]
sdb              931,5G
+-sdb1               1K
+-sdb2  xfs      929,6G /media/traveler/537daead-0d83-
+-sdb5  swap       251M
+-sdb6             7,8M
+-sdb7  linux_ra   7,8M
+-sdb8  linux_ra 831,5M
+-sdb9  ext3       855M /media/traveler/2f3bc6b9-d96a-
+-sdb10            7,8M
sdc                1,8T
+-sdc1  ntfs       1,8T /media/traveler/Seagate Backup Seagate Backup Plus Drive
sr0               1024M

Other Links

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CryptSync, a simple alternative to protect your files for sharing

CryptSync is simple and easy to use tool to synchronize 2 folders, where the files in the destination folder are encrypted. (CryptSync is using 7-Zip for the encryption.)


In this way, one can perform client side encryption when sharing several files. Each file is encrypted individually with the same password, and it is only the encrypted files that are stored in the untrusted media (see figure below). It is possible to use CryptSync in a portable way by copying the files without installation on the second computer.



Depending on the use case, like which client operating systems need to be supported and which media is used to sharing, then there are several other alternatives like Cryptomator and Syncany. (It is possible to use cryptomator without installation, with jar file, if using JPortable from portableapps.). However, they are a little more complex than the CryptSync. One also could reuse the same idea, and DIY (do it yourself) with a scripting tool, like autoit

For sharing one file at at time over untrusted media or via email, then one could directly use 7-Zip or tool like AxCrypt, which is nicely integrated with Explorer (there exist a portable version as well AxCrypt2Go.exe).


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Survey of ISO certifications, results for 2015

ISO is having surveys about number of ISO certifications, it is worth to have a look :-)

The table below is taken from the executive summary.

ISO survey 2015-001

There are also excel files available for each ISO standard that shows certifications per country or industry… For example for ISO 27001, the total number over the years is shown below.

ISO survey 2015-002

Posted in ICT Leadership and Management, ICT Standards, Security Certifications, Security Management, Security Standardization and Practises, Security Training, Awareness and Reports | Comments Off

Study report “Women in Cybersecurity”, by several co-authors

It is worth to have a look at the recent study report called The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity.

It can be found at the research page od the the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, or directly here.

Women in cybersecurity

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Flowgorithm, a visual programming tool with source code generation

Flowgorithm is one of the visual programming tools available today.


  • visual programming, focus is more on the modelling on how to solve the problem than on the syntax of programing language like java, c# or python.
  • can generate code in many programming languages


  • so far there is no way to read and write files

The figure below shows when execution is ongoing in slow speed. One can see where the execution is, both in the big flowchart and in the source code window (in this case Java). In addition, there is variable window (lower left) showing that 2 lotto numbers had been generated so far. The console window on the lower right is used for input and output operations.



The figure below is the clipboard copy of the flowchart in flowgorithm. The tool can also export in emf and svg formats.


Visual program file for lotto

This file is zipped. unzip in order to get the “Lotto.fprg” file.

Testing the java source

The generated java code worked well, as can be seen in the figure below. DrJava (portable) was used to compile and run the code. There was only 1 minor tweak needed (ie. one needed to initialize the NewNumber variable, see line “int NewNumber = 0;”)




  • Another similar tool is Raptor, but with different features (read/write files, some basic graphics)
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